Last Word on affordable housing, Feb. 23

Affordable housing

The Oakland Pointe neighborhood needs to relax and stop trying to move forward with their “not in my backyard” theme against the developer for affordable housing. If people don’t like it, then buy the land that’s developable and then you don’t have to worry about the neighbors. Affordable housing is needed. People need to stop and get over it. Thank you.

Who are the largest employers in James City County? Shouldn't affordable housing be located near to where most people need to work to reduce or even eliminate transportation costs?

Many in JCC and Williamsburg treasure our trees, lush greenery, our rural character versus the incredibly ugly suburban sprawl east of us. And it is only because we all insist on keeping this rural character that we can protect the distinct and special ambiance that comes with “Not Suburban Sprawl.” Cities seem determined to delude themselves that more sprawl equals more revenue. Yet any casual review of real costs and possible revenue shows more build up quickly requires more revenue than taxpayers are willing to pay. The outcome is homely areas like most of us happily moved out of. And with less water and fewer easy dollars from all sources, it’s time to accept reality: trees, greenery and open spaces are cheaper and more beneficial than old, deteriorating, costly, obsolete, empty structures surrounded by acres of asphalt. Let’s opt for the number of structures and people who can and will pay the real cost of continuing maintenance. And let’s stop pretending that more people equals more money.

Bristol Commons

We are so concerned about the Bristol Commons residents and how they will be made whole when the pilot who destroyed their complex had no pilot insurance. A similar story in California also resulted in deaths and destruction of a home after an uninsured pilot crashed into the home. What is the plan for such horrific events? There isn’t such a thing as “uninsured pilot’s insurance” as there is for car owners who cause destruction while uninsured. How do people and property owners protect themselves? Editor’s note: Our reporting has shown that the pilot lacked medical certification, not insurance and that most of the property owners affected by the crash had property insurance. The homeowner's association there also maintained property insurance. There have been and will continue to be insurance payouts.

Road worries

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When I’ve got turn signals on, I’m not asking your permission to change lanes. I’m warning you of my intentions.

In reference to the comment about "Jersey curbs," they are officially called "Jersey barriers." They were created to have cars and trucks that hit them to slide off and not cross the road into oncoming traffic. I’ve lived in Jersey most of my life (I'm 75 and from Pennsylvania, not Vermont as I see on many caps around here) and they have been called that for as long as I can remember and by many other states.

The camera at Route199 and Jamestown Road was put up to watch for congestion on the road so the traffic signal could be altered accordingly. I know this because I'm the one that put it there.

DoG Street repaving

In colonial times, it was said that Duke of Gloucester Street was a mile long and 3 feet deep. If it wasn’t deep in mud, it was deep in dust. So much for the cobblestone base that some are worried about in repaving DoG Street, since they were brought in stone by stone by the restoration and are not authentic. Also, forget about asphalt — mud and dust were just fine for our 18th-century relatives.

Bicycle races

Once again, the bicycle races are coming to Croaker in the last weekend of February. Once the bicycle racers are finished, they need to give something back to the Croaker community. Doing a litter pickup along all of the roads on their route would be a good start.

Great performances

Bravo to the College of William and Mary's "Shakespeare in the Dark" production of “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” in the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium. I enjoyed director Andi Nealon's interesting transformation of Shakespeare's story, especially Sam Terry's portrayal of Pericles, as well as the fun pirates, dancing and music.

Thank you to the Williamsburg Music Club for another wonderful program, “Chocolate Wings.” The staged reading, singing, acting and musical instruments all told the inspiring story of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American aviator. Six artists gave life to this amazing story with superb piano accompaniment — and a variety of hats. The play should be touring!

Over in Richmond

Having moved to Virginia to get away from the swamp, we now see where the swamp has just followed us to Richmond and our state Democratic leadership. Seriously, it’s time for the citizens of the commonwealth to demand resignations from the racist, pro-infanticide, immoral and just plain stupid and embarrassing governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

We have all done things 35 years ago that we probably won't do today, but what concerns me most is Gov. Northam’s stance on third trimester abortions. If he steps down, let’s hope he doesn’t go back to being a pediatrician.

The scourge currently underway to see how many photos we can find in our yearbooks so we can expose those among us who apparently are latent racists is stunning. As I write this note, I asked Alexa to play Al Jolson (he is singing “Suwanee”), who did blackface nationally with his minstrels on stage and television. I grew up in the 40s and 50s when he was an iconic singer and dancer. Minstrel shows were produced with local clubs, schools, localities and I dare say it was not a uniquely southern tradition. Enough of this incredible witch hunt. Let’s focus on those things that bring us together and not be a party to latter day book burnings. Oh, yes, if you want to hear Jolson you better do it quick, because I expect Alexa will be purged.

No new car

A few days ago, I received a telephone call informing me that I’d won $5 million in the Publisher’s Sweepstakes plus a new car and all I had to do was send $1,000 to get the vehicle registered. When I questioned why not use part of that $5 million I won and when it became apparent that I was not going to send him the money, he hung up. A day or two later, I received another phone call stating I’d won a new car. Again, when I declined to send the money, the gentleman promptly hung up.

Butterflies

It’s frustrating to read the short article that GMOs probably are not responsible for decline of milkweed and Monarch butterflies, when other possible harms were tangentially referenced in this narrow study of a complex issue (Gazette, Feb. 20). Couldn’t other questions have been asked of the same sources with little extra effort? A more complete review and a broader set of questions would have provided more information so that a related, similar narrow study isn’t needed. Can the W&M researcher reply?

Come prepared

The reason for needing your marriage license at DMV: Your birth certificate (proof of citizenship) says Mary Jones, but your Social Security card and other information shows Mary Smith. They need proof of the name transition, that you are the same person. Two marriages may require two licenses for the same reason. Necessary only for the new “Real ID” license.

To the person that thought they had every document necessary to get their Virginia driver’s license renewed but was ask for their marriage certificate: I can tell you a story better than that. DMV made me go to court and have my name legally changed on my birth certificate because it didn’t match my Social Security name. When I married, I dropped my first name because I always went by my middle name and used that plus my maiden name. The United States Government accepted my name that way for Social Security, but the State of Virginia would not. At 75 years of age, I had to have a new birth certificate with only my middle name and maiden name on it before they would issue me a Virginia driver’s license. The funny thing is that back in the 60s, 70s and 80s, I had a Virginia license with only my middle name, maiden name and married name. When I told them this, they said sorry, but their records didn’t go back that far. When you go to DMV, just be prepared for anything crazy to happen.

Looking for …

Does anyone know where VITA tax volunteers are going to be this year? Please text me at 788-4063.

My name is Dave Johnson. I’m calling because I could repair the outside water pond that needs to be fixed. My number is 757-971-0137. Thank you.

Could the person who said they had a contact for a stamp collector please contact me at clozak1sr@gmail.com. Thank you.

To the person asking about assistance with disposing of a stamp or other collection: I note that Spink USA, a New York collectibles auction house, will be at the Williamsburg Lodge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8, and will see interested persons by appointment only. Spink USA deals in collectible coins, stamps, banknotes, military medals, militaria, gold and silver bullion, jewelry, autographs, maps, sports memorabilia, books, stock and bond certificates, ephemeral and other collections for immediate sale or inclusion in one of their auctions. To get an appointment, call Charles Blane at 1-646-509-1355 or email cblane@spink.com.

Looking for two Tom Seeley Oak rod-back side chairs originally purchased at American Harvest Company. Please call 706-905-2353 if you can help me find the chairs.

To the person requesting assistance on motor vehicle Lemon law, I have extensive experience assisting owners to successfully navigate the process with vehicle manufacturers. Depending on the issue and repair history, it is not that difficult and does not require a lawyer. Good luck!

Looking for a honest, knowledgeable individual or shop to help determine the value of a coin collection.

Better info needed

I googled a company with whom I have a prepaid burial service and clicked BBB complaints. There were five in the past year. When I clicked for info on the complaints, none was available. So, how in the world does the Better Business Bureau actually help consumers? It’s a toothless tiger. For shame!

Medicare for all

What most people who boohoo the idea of Medicare for all don’t realize is that, like the National Health Care Service in Great Britain, the cost of Medicare for all would come out of your taxes. It would mean that your taxes would go up, but you would no longer have a very expensive insurance bill every month, and you’d be better off in the long run.

I’m glad the person called in about Medicare and the cost of it last week because the way Democrats are spinning it, that Medicare for all means free health care, is the same lie we were told about Obamacare — that it would be cheaper and you would keep your doctor and such. My husband and I spend more than $200 a month to have Medicare, and then you also have to pay for the secondary insurance to cover other items. And you pay for your drug coverage and you also have your deductible that you have to pay. It’s not free.

UNC returns

If you have DirecTV and you’re not aware, the UNC channel is back. It’s at Channel 2, PBS. Thank goodness it has returned.

Tax refunds

I have to laugh at the people who are complaining that they’re getting less of a refund from their taxes this year. They should be happy. That just means they made less of a nointerest loan to the government for that period of time. That money was theirs to begin with and it’s just being sent back to them with no interest for the time the government had it.

Animals in America

A couple weeks ago, someone asked why in the world someone would have a llama in this area. Same reason they have alpacas in this area. They are raised for their fibers, and then those fibers are sold. The question was arrogant and came off as hostile. It’s no different than people who have dogs from other countries. Someone who lives here might have a huskie. So is that person wrong? A lot of the dogs were brought originally, you know, with new settlers. They didn’t start here in America.

Strength in numbers

I’m sure I’m not the only person that quit watching the NFL due to Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem and disrespecting the flag and the country. I’m just wondering if there are any lawyers who would take a class action suit for all those men that chose to do that against Kaepernick for starting the whole thing, now that he’s suing the NFL. Just curious. Thank you.

Free to you

Total Gym 1500. Owner's manual. Very good condition. You pick up. 757-810-5324.

Good commentary

My compliments on a well-written, concise, objective observation of the state of both our culture and our education system. The glorification by so many of diversity, multiculturalism and ideology at the cost of truth, accuracy and honesty is simply political correctness gone wild. Apparently, moderate educators still do exist in our education system -- thank you Joseph Filko.

Legal age

I’m calling in about the legal age — they’re raising the legal age to 21 to smoke. So what is the legal age for you to go into the military and come back home in a box? Thank you.

Democratic socialism

To the person who wrote to the Last Word on the subject, “Democratic socialism”: I would recommend that he or she go to the bookstore and buy a book titled “The Allies” by Winston Groome. It gives the early years of Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and their experiences and beliefs in Democratic Socialism and where those thoughts led to a horrific World War II and, prior to that, World War I. Hope people find it educational.

To try to explain to the person who wrote ”… socialism doesn’t work …” in Venezuela. That is because the country was and is run by a dictatorial type person. Their system could be called Dictatorial Socialism with all the evils of “strong man” politics. lt was and is not Democratic Socialism. In fact, Democratic Socialism does work quite nicely in places such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Taxes are high but so is quality of life, as I witnessed for many years. Corporate leaders do not get 200-300 times the pay of their average worker as in the U.S. I never saw a U.S. type of slum in Germany. Those people vote in higher percentages than the U.S. and they elect good leaders. That is the secret: They elect leaders who care for all the electorate more than they care about themselves.

Free college?

Get real. What about the people from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s that could not afford college? Is the freebie offered to them as well? You surely can't age discriminate. I read there are approximately 18 million students enrolled in college. With free tuition, you could possibly have 60 million applicants demanding the benefit, and only 18 million seats. Who gets selected? Again, not sustainable.

A little more room

The Harris Teeter at the Lightfoot Marketplace has proven to be a great addition to the Lightfoot area. Wonderful products, specials and employees. But I don't think that the original planners and builders of that store expected it to be as popular as it is, because it is crowded. Are there any plans to expand and enlarge this store? The area between the grocery aisles and the checkout registers is especially crowded. You have a great store, but it needs to be larger or reconfigured. Thank you for coming to our neighborhood!

Financial responsibility

Nothing has changed except for accounting for inflation. Years ago, people got paid a lot less than today. Spending beyond one’s means has always been a problem. Living on credit cards means you are spending beyond your means. If you want to spend more, you have to earn more. I’m also tired of hearing ads for companies that will bail you out of your credit card debt and nonpayment of your taxes. Responsibility for your financial well-being starts with you.

Hate crimes

I think that actor Jussie Smollett should be charged with a hate crime for faking his attack. He planned it to look like a Trump supporter did it. Making everyone go after Trump and everyone who voted for him. That is premeditated hatred of certain people.

Just asking

What has always puzzled me is if you need the electric cart to get from the store to your car, how did you get into the store in the first place?

National emergency

In January 2018, a Yale University study by Dr. Mohammad Fazel Zarandi was released; it said there are 22.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States; low end of the estimate was 17 million and high end was 30 million. This is double the estimate of 11.2 million of the Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol admits they apprehend approximately 40 percent of those trying to cross our Southern border (40,000 monthly average) that means 60,000 are successful. Has anyone read about a mass exodus heading South across our Southern border? Yes this is a national emergency!

Recommended

If you are looking for an expert furniture restorer, call Adam Wolinski at the Furniture Clinic 757-258-3188. He brought our dining room table back to its original beautiful finish. I am thrilled with his work and price.

National debt

It was just announced that the public national debt has grown by $2 trillion to $22 trillion since Trump became president. This is the same debt that he promised he would totally eliminate in eight years. (Of course he may not know the difference among budget deficit, national debt and trade deficit.) The major issue is that this violates generational equity as we pass the mushrooming debt to our children, grandchildren and subsequent generations.

Thank you

I’d like to thank Dr. Bowles and his surgical crew and nurses at Sentara Hospital for the wonderful service that they provided me recently. They were very nice, and I appreciate their assistance.

Kudos to the library for their teenage night out. It looks like they had a lot of fun. Those librarians work so hard for us.

I want to say to Dr. Mangelsdorf and to Dr. Sullivan how much I will miss you taking care of my cats. I am in the state of crying. No one is like you two. I hope you know how wonderful you have been to my cats, and I thank you very much for everything.

Up in Washington

With the land conservation package passed in the Senate with a veto-proof majority headed to the House of Representatives for their consideration, all Americans need to tell their congressman to support it in a bipartisan manner and to encourage both parties to see to it the bill passes in the House with the same veto proof majority so that it becomes law.

Treason is defined as giving aid and comfort to the enemy during a time of war. The acting director of the FBI opening a probe to inquire into the suspicions that the president of the United States might be an agent of a foreign government with the goal to throw an election isn't treason as the president accuses. It is the definition of the FBI doing the job it was created to do: protecting the American people from foreign threats.

President Trump is trying to paint all Democrats as socialists because a couple have unfortunately used the term to make a point. We need to recognize the true values that Democrats hold, namely, societal responsibility. This is totally consistent with capitalism and a value that Republicans of all faiths should also be deeply committed to.

I voted for my congressman, and I’m sure you guys voted for your congressman. We sent them to Washington. We sent them to Richmond. I don’t give a holy hoot what they’ve done with their taxes. That’s up to the IRS. It’s not up to the senators. It’s not up to the House of Representatives. You’re up there to pass laws, to look after us, to make us pay our dues. You’re not up there to look who’s behind my closet. You’re not up there to sweep the floors. I think every congressman should have a background check all the way back to the fifth grade, and I want to see how many of you are still standing

Supreme Court Justice Thomas is trying to reverse a 1964 decision that makes it difficult for a politician to win a libel suit, since under current law, malice must be proven. This is consistent with the President’s wish. I welcome this effort, since it would clear the way for action by individuals who Trump libels on a daily basis.

I do remember President Reagan telling Mr. Gorbachev. The significant difference the writer seems to forget is that the Berlin Wall was to keep people in East Germany; our wall would be to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States. That makes all the moral difference in the world.

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